From March 30-April 2, 2011, the Barcelona GSE held the first edition of its Intensive Course on Competition Economics: Abuse of Dominance. A total of 56 participants from 19 countries came to the GSE's Ciutadella campus in the heart of downtown Barcelona for this four-day continuing education course. directed by Prof. Massimo Motta (ICREA-UPF and GSE) and Prof. Giulio Federico (Charles River Associates, IESE SP-SP, and GSE guest professor).
The new course draws on the same faculty expertise in Competition Economics that has made the GSE's Master Program in Competition and Market Regulation so successful. Both Prof. Motta and Prof. Federico teach in the GSE master program, as does Abuse of Dominance instructor Prof. Jorge Padilla (LECG and GSE guest professor). Rounding out the course faculty was Prof. Chiara Fumigalli (Bocconi University).
Course sessions covered topics such as Prediation, Rebates, and Exclusive Dealing, as well as case studies on intellectual property rights and energy. The wide appeal of the course topic drew participants from across the spectrum of professional and academic fields dealing with competition economics. Demand for places was so high that the course "sold out" weeks before sessions began, leaving a number of applicants on the waitlist.
Prof. Federico attributes the success of the course to the relevance of the topic and also to the diversity of the participants themselves. "We picked a topical issue that we thought would be of interest to both economists and non-economists. In the end, we had a great mix of participants, from nearly 20 different jurisdictions, and from a wide range of public, private and academic institutions."
Among the participants were presidents and directors of public and private institutions, judges, ministers, lawyers, economists and analysists, inspectors and case handlers, regulatory advisors, professors, postdocs, and doctoral students. Some had over thirty years of experience in the field, while others were newly-minted graduates.
Prof. Federico notes that this diversity of backgrounds made for some very interesting interactions during the course, and also for some lively debates during the case studies discussions.
"One of my favorite moments was when the actual decision of a competition authority in a predatory case that we had picked for the group discussions was over-turned by the participants, in favor of the plaintiff," Prof. Federico said. "This does not happen very frequently!”
Employers and institutions of participants
Other private companies
Prof. Massimo Motta
ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE
Prof. Giulio Federico
Charles River Associates, IESE SP-SP, and Barcelona GSE guest professor